Turnbull urges installation of anti-vehicle bollards
Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has recommended anti-vehicle barriers be installed outside stadia and other large venues to protect against car-ramming terror attacks such as those seen in Nice, London and, most recently, Barcelona.
In a speech introducing a new anti-terrorism strategy document, Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism – commissioned by his coalition government after the Nice attack – Turnbull said on Sunday it is crucial venue operators familiarise themselves with its advice in order to “strengthen [their security arrangements] based on changes to the threat environment”.
Among the recommendations of the document, which was distributed to Australian city councils and businesses earlier this month, is to implement “physical countermeasures and processes, eg bollards” in order to prevent vehicle-based attacks.
In addition to anti-vehicle bollards, other suggested deterrents for venues include fencing, perimeter security lighting, warning signs, high-visibility security patrols and CCTV cameras.
“[Venue o]wners and operators have a responsibility to understand what the current terrorist threat environment means for the security of their site,” the document reads. “This includes how security arrangements and plans may need to change if the national threat level is raised or lowered, and how long it would take to implement these changes. […] Owners and operators also have a responsibility to raise awareness of possible security threats among their staff and patrons.”
“We cannot be complacent about the threats we face, but we will never let the terrorists undermine our way of life”
A separate document, Hostile Vehicle Guidelines for Crowded Places, advises specifically on ramming attacks by “hostile vehicles”, and details how barriers can be implemented in a more aesthetically pleasing way, such as in sculpted street furniture and “feature walls”.
Also available is a self-assessment tool to advise on how attractive a specific venue is for a terrorist attack, and steps owners/operates can take to mitigate the risk.
“It is vital that all those responsible for crowded places know where to go for information and advice on how to better protect their sites,” said Turnbull. “We cannot be complacent about the threats we face, but we will never let the terrorists undermine our way of life or compromise the freedoms we take for granted.
“Our strategy will ensure Australians can continue to freely and safely go to the football, enjoy concerts and visit shopping centres.”
A panel at the upcoming Event Safety & Security Summit (E3S), The 3Ps: Preparation, Planning & Prevention, asks whether an industry wide rethink is needed in order to combat new and emerging terror methodologies. E3S takes place at the Intercontinental Hotel at The O2 in London on 10 October.
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